We No Speak Americano: The Sweetest Thing

By Sophie O ' Mahony, The Dartmouth Staff | 2/20/12 2:34pm



A few weeks into my ex­change, I be­came ac­quainted with theKing Arthur Flourcin­na­mon puff — a mix­ture of dough, sugar and spice that can only be de­scribed as a lit­tle ball of heaven.

The first time I grasped a cin­na­mon puff in my hand was like hold­ing a new­born baby in my arms. I gazed down at it, loved it, trea­sured it, cra­dled it ten­derly, all be­fore promptly de­vour­ing it and lick­ing clean the paper bag.

Thus began my love af­fair with the lus­cious treats. How­ever, my ad­dic­tion to the sweet, sug­ary good­ness reached such a point that I was ad­mit­ted toDick’s Housewith ex­treme stom­ach pains that prac­ti­cally left me un­able to move. So con­cerned were the med­ical staff with my con­di­tion that I un­der­went an X-ray and an Ul­tra­sound, only to have a team of ra­di­ol­o­gists con­firm that — in­deed — the omi­nous mass in my small in­tes­tine was none other than a load of undi­gested, stub­born cin­na­mon puffs.

So this is how I ended up keep­ing a food diary here at Dart­mouth, and the records are, quite frankly, rather em­bar­rass­ing. Be­cause I re­al­ize now that it’s only thanks to a su­per-fast me­tab­o­lism that I am not the size ofJabba the Hut. Es­pe­cially when I’ve some­how man­aged to pol­ish off two sugar cook­ies whilst writ­ing the above text.

Since com­ing to Amer­ica, I have ex­pe­ri­enced the glo­ri­ous sen­sa­tion that is the Foodgasm: when there’s a party in your mouth, and the DJ’s play­ing“Lev­els”. My diet back in Britain was pos­i­tively me­dieval in com­par­i­son to the foray that is served here in the States: por­ridge (that’s gen­uine oat­meal), pota­toes and pot­tage. And black pud­ding on Sun­days — if you don’t know what that is, don’t Google it.

But here you have at least four types of pizza, hash browns, cake, muffins, crispy bacon, sausage links, pan­cakes, chicken nuggets, fries and (deep breath) FRENCH TOAST STICKS. My mouth wa­ters as I type. I wish it were break­fast al­ready. My rea­son­ing is that since I’m only here for a term, I’d bet­ter make the most of it and in­dulge in ice cream coated waf­fles with fudge sauce and marsh­mal­lows every evening.

But the pains in my chest have in­creased, and it hurts to walk, so I have been forced to find other means of being healthy. Four times a week in Ed­in­burgh I at­tended Jab, Kick and Burn, a class which in­volved doing taek­wondo to the tracks of Christina Aguil­era, if such a thing can be imag­ined.

But it took five weeks for me to make it to theAlumni Gymhere at Dart­mouth be­cause going to a new place to ex­er­cise is scary, es­pe­cially when the gym is so frickin’ huge it takes you ten min­utes to lo­cate the squash court (I to­tally meant to end up in the men’s locker room). And don’t pre­tend that you aren’t check­ing out fel­low gym users — you saw me strug­gling with the tread­mill, try­ing to lo­cate the ‘on’ but­ton for about half an hour. And yes, that was me tan­gled up in the True Stretch Cage, I don’t quite know what I was doing in there.

In the end I gave up and did some gen­tle lunges. I may or may not have torn my ham­string.

Sophie O ' Mahony, The Dartmouth Staff